Monday, November 15, 2010

What do Italian children eat?

If you're thinking home-made pasta, meat balls and gelato, guess again. Here's a public-safety-message-meets-modern-art-installation that hangs in the entrance of the pediatric surgery ward at Bambino Gesu, the children's hospital here in Rome.

These items were all fished out of the throats of Italian children after very delicate surgery. You can see for yourself that there's enough coins here to buy a nice dinner for two. But there's also:
  • several crucifixes and charms
  • a rubber eraser
  • pencils
  • the ink part of a ballpoint pen
  • 1 metal pencil sharpener (the same child also ingested a button cell battery)
  • a light bulb
  • a monster fish hook (big enough to snag a sea bass, I'd guess)
  • a 2.5-inch wood screw
  • several clothes hooks
  • a pair (!) of keys, still on the key ring
  • a plastic lid (the size was roughly equivalent to the cap of a container of 35-mm film)
  • a hollow metallic cylinder that looked a lot like a bullet casing
Here's a close-up of the fish hook (you can also see the eraser, light bulb, and, at top center-right that odd looking bullet casing thing), or as close as I could get with my crappy Blackberry:

If anyone else has access to the pediatric surgery ward in their area, I'd love to compare notes.

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